Un renovado estadio de La Sabana seguirá siendo cuna de sueños posibles

Lo que representa La Sabana es muchísimo más grande que los kilómetros que conforman el pequeño pueblo de la parroquia Caruao en La Guaira. Es un mágico lugar conocido mundialmente por ser cuna de peloteros. Un sinfín de amateurs y centenares de profesionales del béisbol, que se han destacado en distintas ligas del mundo, son oriundos de esta región.

El pueblo sabanero está a los pies del Mar Caribe, rodeado de las dulces aguas de un río y habitado por una alegre y acogedora comunidad; en la que hay un poco más de cien casas, una iglesia, un hospital y una plaza. Pero, sin duda, para los ojos del mundo, su principal atractivo, por el talento que emerge, es el modesto estadio de beisbol Oscar Santiago Escobar.

El estadio de La Sabana debe su nombre a un insigne de la región. El profesor Oscar Santiago Escobar fue declarado Patrimonio Viviente del Estado Vargas (ahora La Guaira) en 2007; precisamente siete años antes de fallecer a los 84 años de edad.

Don Oscar fue precursor de la disciplina en toda la parroquia Caruao y fundador del equipo San José de La Sabana. Además, era el padre del primer grandeliga guaireño, Ángel Escobar (1988), y cabeza de una dinastía beisbolera que hoy desemboca en Ronald Acuña Jr.; considerado uno de los mejores peloteros de la actualidad en las Grandes Ligas.

Gen beisbolístico

Desde su creación, el estadio Oscar Santiago Escobar ha acogido a un sinnúmero de peloteros que tienen un mismo sueño: una firma con una organización de MLB. Más de 50 aspirantes lo han conseguido y, hasta ahora, solo siete maravillas se han graduado de bigleaguers.

“Ángel Escobar, José Escobar, Kelvim Escobar, Alcides Escobar, Edwin Escobar, Vicente Campos y Ronald Acuña Jr., son los siete grandeligas que han salido de La Sabana. Todos se relacionan entre sí”, cuenta con orgullo, a Triángulo Deportivo, John Al Hawy, gerente general de la Academia Escobar.

Y es que La Sabana es conocida como el pueblo de “los primos”. Todos de alguna manera terminan teniendo un lazo sanguíneo así sea lejano. Por eso, quizás, se cultiva el gen beisbolístico.

Precisamente, esa familiaridad y afinidad pueblerina convergió en la restructuración de aquel afamado estadio de tierra, donde todo comienza.

Proyecto en proceso

La idea de la restructuración del estadio de La Sabana tiene sus orígenes en la fundación de la Academia Escobar. Su presidente es Alcides Escobar, quien fue grandeliga por 11 temporadas y, en la actualidad, figura de las Golondrinas de Yakult en la liga de Japón.

“La idea de la restructuración nació en octubre de 2015, desde la creación de la Academia Escobar. Desde ese momento, poco a poco, le fuimos metiendo mano. Pero a finales de 2019 Alcides me dijo para ir un poco más allá. Este año pintamos todo el estadio, entre los trabajadores de la Academia y la comunidad de La Sabana. Pero queríamos un cambio más drástico. Entonces él decidió hablar con Edwin Escobar y Ronald Acuña Jr. Ahora entre los tres financian el proyecto”, contó Al Hawy vía telefónica.

Este trío de referentes del beisbol dio sus primeros pasos en la pelota justamente en ese estadio. Además, están conscientes que las nuevas generaciones “cogen rollings” diariamente en ese terreno con el mismo sueño que en algún momento ellos tuvieron. Por eso, en primer lugar, nació la Academia Escobar, que trabaja a diario en esas instalaciones, y, seguidamente, la idea de la restructuración.

“Nosotros como Academia hacemos vida aquí en el estadio”, reveló John, quien supervisa a diario la remodelación en La Sabana. “Trabajamos en el terreno de lunes a viernes, en horarios de la mañana. Tenemos a los chamos hospedados, les damos sus comidas, sus proteínas y su entrenamiento físico en la playa”.

La Academia Escobar, en cinco años, ya cuenta con cinco peloteros firmados. Todos formados en La Sabana.

“Esperamos que vengan muchas más firmas. Por ahí viene otro hermano de Ronald Acuña Jr., Bryan Acuña, que tiene fecha de firma para 2021”, reveló.

Los avances

En La Sabana no hay descanso. Durante toda la cuarentena, por la pandemia del Covid-19, y a pesar de los graves problemas con el servicio eléctrico que sufre el país, sobre todo este tipo de zonas; el trabajo de restructuración sigue activo.

“Ya esto aquí está bastante adelantado. Tenemos lista la restructuración de la malla protectora de las tribunas. Seguimos trabajando en el techado de las dos tribunas. Vamos a arreglar el terreno y a rellenar el infield. También estamos remodelando los baños, los camerinos, el depósito del estadio y el área de la cantina. En el caso de los dugouts, ya los habíamos remodelado el año pasado”, reveló Al Hawy.

El estadio de La Sabana es propiedad del Estado. Sin embargo, Alcides, Edwin y Ronald decidieron financiar en su totalidad el proyecto. Aun así, el Instituto de Deportes, Actividad Física y Educación Física de La Guaira (Ideafef) aprobó el plan de restructuración y ha prestado apoyo con respecto al personal que labora en el sitio.

“La gente del Ideafef actualmente está muy agradecida con la iniciativa de los peloteros y todo el trabajo que estamos haciendo. Su director, José Cardozo, siempre ha estado en contacto con nosotros y nos ha apoyado con muchas cosas”, comentó. 

Reinauguración sin fecha

El estadio Oscar Santiago Escobar proyecta estar listo para mediados del mes de agosto. Sin embargo, su reinauguración oficial no tiene fecha, debido al coronavirus.

“Esperamos hacer la reinauguración con un juego entre los peloteros amateurs del pueblo y la gente de Curiepe, Barlovento. Ellos allá siempre nos han recibido con cariño, entonces tenemos pensado ahora recibirlos a ellos aquí reinaugurando el estadio. La fecha dependerá de cómo vaya transcurriendo lo del virus”, indicó John. 

Pero, la mayor celebración por la nueva imagen del estadio la tienen pensada para la famosa caimanera decembrina que se juega año tras año en La Sabana; donde, religiosamente, están presente Alcides, Edwin, Ronald y todos los peloteros insignes de la entidad. Sin embargo, para la de este 2020 también todo dependerá de cuán controlada esté la pandemia para esa fecha. No se puede dar por hecho aún que este año ellos puedan volver a Venezuela.

“Esperamos que podamos hacer como siempre la caimanera familiar de finales de año. Ese sería el momento perfecto para la reinauguración. Con todo el pueblo y con ellos aquí, como debe ser”, sentenció John Al Hawy.

Lea también: ¿Cómo sería el pelotero venezolano perfecto actualmente?

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